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Author conducted reviews among members of the Polish minority from the Olza (river) Region in 2003. Number of persons declaring Polish nationality is systematically decreasing from post-war years on. In light of conducted research it is possible that the accession of Czech Republic and Poland to the European Union will intensify this trend. Unrestricted contacts between Poles from both sides of the border will emphasize differences between Polish population from Czech Republic and Poland. Further limitation of number of Polish minority will be thereby observed.
The results of research concerning the attitudes among the rural youth towards the integration of Poland with European Union are presented in the article. Taking into consideration the degree of being informed and interested by the young villagers in the integration problems, we can distinguish three categories of their attitudes towards 'being involved in the integration matters': of the observer - related to the feeling of being informed and expressing interest, the potential observer - related to the feeling of being uninformed and expressing interest and of the outsider - related to the lack of interest in the matters concerning the integration process. This manner of measuring the degree of 'being involved in the integration matters' is a factor that strongly determines the general attitude towards the integration of Poland with EU (positive attitude can be more often observed among the observers, whereas the negative attitude is presented by the outsiders and the potential observers). It also significantly affects the opinions concerning 'the beneficians' and 'the losers', and also the range of hopes and anxieties connected with the accession of Poland to EU (the observers are decidedly more optimistic than the outsiders and the potential observers). Finally, it also shapes the inclination to direct action in connection with the integration process (the observers decidedly more often than the outsiders declared not only for the voting for the accession Poland to the EU, but also participating in the accession referendum). The results of our research show that the level of knowledge with regard to the European integration among the members of Polish society is not only the best manner to receive social support for the integration process, but it is also the best strategy to create public consciousness enabling independent look for one's own place in the new social situation after accession. Thus the role of the institutions aimed at promoting the European Union integration should not be stopped even after the successful European referendum.
The general idea of a new strategy for the development of agriculture boils down to strivings to create modern, technically and economically efficient agriculture which should, simultaneously, be friendly to man and the natural environment. Such agriculture would be based mainly on family farms. It would be integrated with the entire national economy and it should be complementary to other types of economic activities conducted in rural areas. The policy pursued within such development strategy should provide for a reasonable degree of state interventionism and assistance, multifunctionality of agriculture and rural areas, consolidation of rural and agricultural self-government, regionalisation and internationalisation, the process of integration with the EU structures included. The main objective of the strategy in question ought to be the elimination of historical delays in the development of agriculture. This general task can be translated into three main political goals, namely: the achievement by rural population (or more precisely farmers) of earnings adequate both to the amount of work done and to the engaged production potential, and the achievement of the level of personal incomes comparable to that characterising other principal social-vocational groups; the creation of similar conditions for the farming and rural population to use the achievements of modern civilisation as those enjoyed by other large social groups, especially in respect of education; the implementation of the concept of sustainable development of agriculture and rural areas.
This study argues that despite of the formal dominance of the Slovak parliament over the government as originally laid down in Slovak constitution, the government manages to dominate Slovak constitutional system at the expense of the parliament. Firstly, this happened through an extensive use of government's legislative powers. Later on, the EU accession of Slovakia predominantly an executive affair - strengthened this dominance and led to 2001 constitutional amendment. Despite another constitutional change initiated by the parliament in 2003, which was to re-establish the institutional balance, the parliament is still unable to control and influence the government with regard to EU matters.
Poland's accession to the European Union on the 1st May 2004 will not put an end to our problems but it will mark the beginning of profound changes. These changes will also involve thinking and acting in long-term perspective. The lack of a clear and precise strategy for the development of the village and rural territories, taking into account both the specificity of Poland and the interests of Polish farmers, may make it difficult to take full advantage of the civilisational impulse for the Polish economy in the form of Poland's integration with the European Union.
The article makes an overview of the groups labelled as Gypsy/Roma and minority policies related to Roma in present day of Montenegro. It discusses how – in view of the processes in the region and in the course of the state’s EU-integration –the top-down approach of adopting definitions centred on the terms “Roma and Egyptians” and “Roma” have influenced the state politics of identity regarding supporting and promoting new identities, as well as reinforcing the label “Roma” and “Romani” for all communities considered of common (Gypsy/Roma) origin. Further on, the impact of EU-integration discourse on legislation and setting up Romani and Egyptian organizations is discussed within the public policies sector. Finally, I discuss initiatives and resources for publishing in Romani language in a country where a great part of the groups considered being of Romani origin speak another language as a mother tongue. My main argument is that the minority protection EU-conditionality and the special focus on the rights of the Roma, have led to an “import” of Roma issues for “solving”, along with copy-pasting of activities that supposedly aim to flag Romani identity and language even though neither Romani identity nor Romani language are characteristic for all communities labelled as “Roma”.
Postsocialist transformation must be seen against the background of ongoing globalization. The progress toward institutional changes should be evaluated through the prism of their influence on country's development abilities. In Poland, over eighteen years of comprehensive systemic shift, GDP has increased more than in any other postsocialist country. While judging the transformation progress not only the improvements in competitiveness and growth must be taken into account, but also social and cultural aspects. There have been five distinct periods from the viewpoint of economic growth. Had there been a better policy coordination of systemic change and socio-economic development, GDP growth over the periods considered could have increased by a half more. This opportunity has been missed due to the intermittent implementation of wrong economic policies based on wrong economic theories. Poland has the potential to double her GDP over next ten years. However, despite gains from both globalization and European Union integration, this potential will not be fully exploited due to the overall ineptitude of politics. Poland's transformation can be seen as a success, but only to the extent of two thirds of its potential.
What makes people support the European Union project has been a topic of constant research in the social sciences during the last decades. The key explanations of attitudes towards EU integration and enlargement processes are mainly related to identity issues, trust in political institutions, post-materialism, cognitive mobilization and utilitarianism. This paper revisits these explanations and adds a new ingredient to the debate, namely the role of solidarity in confining sceptical attitudes towards enlargement. We hypothesize that a deficit of transnational solidarity at the level of citizens is related to an attitude of reluctance about further EU enlargement. For this purpose, we employ a multilevel approach on individual-level data from the European Values Study 2008 – 2009 and contextual data for 42 countries. Our findings support the idea of a significant, positive relation between transnational solidarity and pro-enlargement attitudes.
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